Work Trumpet

Description (Brief)
As more American volunteer fire fighting companies began to form during the late 18th century, a need emerged for better organized efforts in combating conflagrations. Engineers and officers would use “speaking trumpets” to amplify their voices over the noise and commotion of a fire scene to direct the company in effectively fighting the blaze. Two trumpet variants are reflected in the collection: plain and functional “working” trumpets that were actively used at fires, and highly decorated “presentation” trumpets. Presentation trumpets were awarded to firefighters in honor of their service, or between fire companies during visits, competitions, and musters.
This brass speaking trumpet dates to the 19th century. The unadorned brass trumpet has three raised bands around the shaft. A single ring hangs from the lower section of the trumpet. A cord could be tied to the neck of the trumpet and attached to the ring to create a strap.
Location
Currently not on view
date made
unknown
maker
unknown
place made
United States
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 17 in x 6 1/4 in; 43.18 cm x 15.875 cm
ID Number
2005.0233.0889
accession number
2005.0233
catalog number
2005.0233.0889
Credit Line
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Fire Fighting and Law Enforcement
Work
Cultures & Communities
Firefighting Collection
Speaking Trumpets
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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